if the success of the movie Cloverfield [tagged] was JUST about the monster, than you may be a tad disappointed (i was ever so slightly) but thankfully it wasn't just. it was also about the people involved and who were caught-up in the circumstances of the situation. the "found footage"-concept worked really well, in this respect, IMHO ... i remember being utterly nauseous during Blair Witch Project (which i actually hated with a vengence) but this "technique" worked really well, at least for my warped tastes (*cough*) - altho there were many a times i found myself nearly shouting out to Hud (the cam operater) to point the blardy cam towards the ruckus where the creature might be! LOL - that said, i was immersed into the feature as events unfolded in rapidly and unrelentlessly, and all i can say is, time flew by ever so quickly and i nary had much time to take a prolonged break from the frantic sequences. well done to everyone involved in the making of the movie :)

altho far from being the spectacular movie that everyone seems to be so hyped about, "surprisingly" including myself (*cough* - or maybe im just jaded this way), it was nevertheless an enjoyable flick, surviving the hype, as it were (and im both a sacrificial-lamb for hype as well as naysayer LOL). and if you plan on having popcorn? please do finish them before Lady Liberty's head lands on the streets, becoz after that, your attention would be on the screen and the motley group of folks trying to survive it. and im not talking about the cliched celluloid heroes or the soldiers - im talking about the "everyman", the Joe-Blo, you and me. what would WE do if this had happened to us? what would we do to survive? but does everyone walk out of it alive? watch it til the bittersweet end.

although i haveta say, my initial rendition of the Cloverfield-monster was waaaaaay off LOL (even tho it was done tongue-in-buttcheek :p)

caught an afternoon-screening alone and have been racking my muddled-memory since, for at least a decent sketch of the creature (where my photography-plans fell thru ggrrrr) which i'd still feebly attempt here in this post


straight forward with slight twists that we may have recognized from countless other horror/suspense/monster-flicks, but seen in a "new light", or at least different POV (which is not a negative). Rob Hawkins is leaving the country to go to Japan for a new job. his bro Jason and girlfriend Lily sets-up a surprise party for Rob. Hud's the appointed "video-documentarian" - who at times is a real pain (the sorta friend you wanna smack in the head LOL) especially when he meets his crush, Marlena. Beth turns up with her date. Rob is devastated (he slept with her priors - she is hawt, reminds me of Megan Fox = yumz). Hud tells EVERYONE about Rob bangin' Beth (head-smacking worthy move, that was LOL). Rob and Beth exchange words and she leaves the party. Jason and Hud confronts Rob about his feelings on the fire-escape. from then on, the action starts and is unrelenting.

from when the head of Lady Liberty crashes unto the streets, everything goes nuts. the shitte hits the fan and when it does, you go along with the frantic ride. everyone heads towards the bridge to get out of town, and Rob receives cellphone call from Beth, who says she's trapped in her apartment and cannot move. tragedy ensues next.

at one point in during Rob's party, when the earth shakes and lights blackout for a moment (after the fire-escape scene) - everyone is glued to the telly, with the news report going on about "an oil tanker capsizing" - this ties in very neatly to the online Cloverfield Manga [read more via ComicBookResources] - where the last page of the manga shows a chained creature coming from beyond the depths = which may essentially be a prequel to the movie? = *sweet*

via Hud's camera was a quick-glimpse of a beached and destroyed (possible) tanker on-shore. with a headless Statue of Liberty next/close to it! so mayhap the manga showed the rise of the creature, whereby it promptly laid waste to both the statue's head and the tanker, before it climbed on-shore to wreck havok in the city? *noice*

meanwhile, the entire movie-storyline is revealed on Cloverfield's wikipedia-page, in near detail (no less) LOL :p

whatever glances of the creature are quick and swift, lasting no longer than 3-4 seconds (at least for first half, 1/3-ish of the flick). i didn't keep track of most of the "earlier" appearances (i was too riveted with the action! LOL) ... but whatever little sequences i can remember; are as follows:

(1) creature captured on plasma-screen via News telecast in the electronics store (when Rob goes in to look for spare HP-batteries). pretty exciting, IMHO :p

also see the parasites captured on telly. soldiers get mangled. alien-hugger but much, much bigger LOL

[closest approximation image / via]

(2) when Rob, Lily, Marlena and Hud gets out of the electronics store to go look for Beth, and the military scrambles down the streets firing everything they've got at the creature. slight but decent-ish glimpses, especially when they run towards the subway stairs (hard to anticipate when, so standby cams during street-fight-scene, yo!). the creature faces head-on at Hud's camera for about 2-3 seconds (looked like a rattle-snake's to me tho, at least in teeth and facial-form, IMHO)

(3) not main creature, but it's "parasites". walking down a darkened subway tunnel - which ain't the brightest thing to do, especially when you see hoardes of rats scampering the other way. the rats know. follow the rats and RUN! but of coz, our intrepid group stares back into the darkness, until Rob turns on Hud's camera's night vision. fuck me.

(4) parasite-alert! everyone makes it to a make-shift shelter and emergency hospital, and a parasite is wheeled past the camera, encased in a glass-box. guess who doesn't make it to the next scene?

(5) Rob, Lily and Hud climbs 49+ stairs up a building, to jump across another (who has since been toppled over and leaning against the one they are climbing) to get to Beth's apartment. and when they go back after getting Beth? guess who's rampaging in the background? standby cameras, yo! LOL

(6) dateline to get out of Manhattan is 0600hrs, where the last helicopters will leave, before the hammer strike decimates the city. from there on in, loads of creature appearances. snap away, my celluloid-friends!

(7) seen from atop a helicopter was a top-ish shoot of the creature, prolonged about 10-seconds on and off (i may be wrong in my estimates and may be longer)

[sketched in cinema when the lights came on. the face/head should be a tad "longer"]

[sketched later at home, based on faded-memory - more snake-like]

seen from top: creature has a V-shaped body (quasi duck-webbed-feets/membrane sorta feel :p), with nigh-elongated arms/forearms, and when he moves, tis more like crawling with front arms and hind legs rather than just on hind legs (which you do see quite a bit first half of movie-appearance). the shoulder-region is arched back - which again reminded me loads of Dark Crystal's Landstriders. you could see the spinal-column reaching all the way til the tail. the tail is not sharp-ended but with a quasi-fin at the end, but i cannot remember it that well now to do a sketch tho (dammit). and i really can't recognize nor remember the humaoid-ish hands out of the creature's body (as seen in sketches thus far tho :p)

and it's fingers are extremely long and skeletal-floppy LOL - which you can see clearer when the creature gets shot at with drop-bombs and his hands brace against an entire skyscraper and dammit tis huge!

these are from the design sketches floating around the www now, which i've approximated certain portions of which may resemble the creature on screen.

[note the highlighted areas]

(8) and just when you thought the creature was nullified and that everyone's in the clear, guess who takes a swipe at the helos from amidst the dust-clouds? i had an honest-to-goodness OMG!-WTF-WTF?!-moment here LOL

(9) once the helo goes down, get ready your cameras. from here on in, tis loads of close-ups of the creature, lit by daylight (day-break, remember "0600hrs"?)

[Camera looks up on the creature, guess where's Hud standing? *yikes*]

i kick myself for not whipping out my digi-cam. kick really, really hard. becoz the camera stays on the creature's face, long enough for it to look at Hud, imagine how Hud'll taste like if BBQ'd, or deep-fried, or sauteed, or ... (you get the picture) before he decides it's humans-tartare-time and opens up it's mouth. the face reminds me quite a bit of Predator's tho (whereas 2/3rds of the movie, a quite-flash of it's head looked like a rattle-snake's - mentioned above)

[creature staring straight into the camera!]

my coloring is off, tis more dark warm grey than brown. the reds at the side of the temple actually pulsates (like breathing) and returns to it's original skin-tone thereafters (before having making breakfast out of Hud).

you can guess the ending. a nice little cliche made bittersweet. and the credits roll. the only time you hear a soundtrack/music (other than during the party itself) is when the credits roll. and it was goose-pimple-inducing, for me anyways ... but unfortunately the lights had already gone on in the cinema during this time, and the cleaner-dude sashayed past me a few times clearing folks' discarded drinks ... so much for the complete celluloid experience, ennit? *heh*


[all colored creature sketches via]

UPDATED 16 Feb 2008: images of the Cloverfield Monster has surfaced online, as well as a 14-inch tall Cloverfield Monster TOY from HASBRO! [peep]


[First Reviewed on TOYSREVIL January 17th 2008]